Episode 061 | Sexual Content Included

April 11th, 2017

Two weeks after Pastor Matt taught on sexual temptation, the Debrief team got overrun by your questions about sex. In this episode, Pastor Matt, Justin and Stephanie talk through questions on forgiveness, sex, homosexuality and porn.

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Summary

Have you ever asked the question, “If God loves me, why does my life suck?” Or maybe you’ve been hurt by someone who has no interest in every saying they’re sorry. The book of Genesis, known for telling the whole story behind the origin of mankind, spends 13 chapters on the life of just one man and in this episode Pastor Matt explains how that one life can answer these (and many more) questions.

But that’s just the start of things. Two weeks after a sermon all about sexual temptation, Debrief listeners sent in dozens of questions about sexuality, temptation, porn, masturbation, lust and just about every other topic that might make you uncomfortable. Pastor Matt answers them all, from how young is too young to get married to whether or not the bible says homosexuality is a sin. The episode wraps up with a look into whether or not having sex before you get married has any impact on your sex life once you are married and what to do when your significant other tells you they’ve been watching porn.

This episode is full of practical insight and biblical wisdom for how to pursue sex in a way that honors God, but probably isn’t one you want to play if you’ve got kids listening.

Resources

The parenting book Justin recommended: Raising a Modern Day Joseph

Watch Pastor Matt’s sermon on forgiveness

Watch Pastor Matt’s sermon on sexual temptation

One man’s story about telling his small group he struggles with same-sex attraction

This Week’s Topics

Why are so many chapters in Genesis dedicated solely to the life of Joseph?

Genesis begins by answering the question of how life has become so messed up, and it ends with how God will fix it with forgiveness and grace. The story of Joseph’s life covers the final 13 books out of the 36 books in Genesis because Joseph’s life presents the struggle between the difficulties of life that happen despite God’s love for us, and it teaches us how important forgiveness is.

What does it look like to forgive someone who isn't even remotely remorseful or sorry?

Reconciliation is a type of forgiveness that occurs when two parties want to work it out. Jesus commands that we would be reconciled to a person who has sinned against us and comes to us and seeks for forgiveness. Reconciliation is working out forgiveness in the context of relationship. There is another kind of forgiveness which is releasing the anger we have toward another person who has wronged us - whether they are sorry or not. There are toxic people who feel that everyone else is the problem, with these people we should forgive them in our hearts but not expect reconciliation to occur. To release ourselves with that burden of anger and hurt.

Do Christians need to pursue someone else's forgiveness when we know we have hurt or wronged someone?

Yes, we should go back to the people in our lives that we have wronged and pursue forgiveness. We often offend people and as Christians we should be great at apologizing. The gospel is offensive enough, we don’t need to be offend people by what we say outside of it. We should be careful to have no motive in our apologies other than communicating that we have wronged a person and we should turn to our community group for advice on if and how we should pursue forgiveness.

How do you know if you've truly forgiven someone when you continue to feel the hurt when seeing or interacting with them?

When someone hurts us it is a process. The first step in the healing process is forgiving someone. There are other steps that will help us through the pain when someone has wounded us, such a therapy and discussing it in community group. In Matthew 28 and 29, Jesus tells us to follow him for a lifetime and he will bring healing into our lives. Healing comes from following Jesus over a period of time and giving him your wounds. To be hurt is to be human, to be holy is to deal with your hurt.

What are some ways I can make my husband feel more like a man and the leader in our life together?

Both spouses should look for opportunities to submit to each other. Since every man is different, women should ask their husbands how they can make their husband feel like a better leader. Asking questions such as “what are some ways where I can validate your leadership and headship of our home?” Having honest real conversations with one another is essential, and periodically synching up with the responsibilities we each have is a great way to stay on the same page with one another in marriage.

Do you have any suggestions on how to raise godly men in our current culture?

We should challenge our boys to be leaders and to rise up. Remind boys that they should be acting in a way that will one day lead them to leading a family, and we should tell our girls to be with a guy that they can follow. When boys are being lazy and choosing not to work hard, ask them how that would work out if they acted in that way as a leader of their family. Boys need healthy examples from other men in the church speaking into their lives.

How young is too young to get married?

It is unfortunate that our current economic circumstances make it difficult to provide for a family at a young age. When looking to get married we should ask ourselves whether or not our intentions are pure and God focused, rather than being based on our physical desires for sex. We should be realistic in the dreams and aspirations that we have in our married life and the financial burdens that come with that. We should also submit to older wiser leadership and have them walk you through the process when thinking about marriage.

As a woman, where should I seek help overcoming an addiction to self-pleasure in a society that tends to portray this as a male issue rather than a female issue?

The best first step is to get into a spiritual mentoring relationship and seek out and older women to discuss and work through it with. (You can do this at Sandals Church by connecting with Soul Care) It is best to find a safe place to discuss this before sharing in a larger, group setting. The purpose of sex is oneness in intimacy and self-pleasure takes away from how special that is. Masturbation teaches us to please ourselves instead of our partners, and it causes us to disconnect sexually go to a place that we are not.

How do we move forward in relationship with a friend who is gay and feels their same-sex relationship is acceptable to God?

We should absolutely maintain friendships with non-Christians who are in homosexual relationships. But 1 Corinthians 5.9-11 teaches that we must not associate with anyone who is a Christian, but is sexually immoral. That includes someone who is a Christian and claims that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. Sandals Church welcomes everyone to our church, but we follow scripture and what it says in regard to how believers live out their sexuality. As Christians we must be careful of those who intentionally twist the scriptures in order to fit their own desires.

How would you advise men in the gay community who feel trapped or feel there is not a way to connect with God because we are not "welcomed" by most Christians?

Men who struggle with homosexuality should surround themselves with straight friends who love God, accept them and have a brotherly love for them. Women can also be a great community for men who struggle with their sexuality, as they offer a safe place of community. Gay men can help Sandals Church to grow and understand homosexuality, so they should not run away from the church because of their sexual preferences.

How can a gay man date a woman without disclosure of what he has done?

It would not be fair not to disclose your sexual history with the woman that you start to date. Gay men should remember that coming to church does not mean they have to date a woman, there were people in the bible who remained single in order to better serve God. If you do choose to date a woman, make sure that you can adore and love her in the context of marriage. Christian men struggling with their sexual preferences should be open with their community in the church so that you are not battling with your temptation or decision about whether or not to date in isolation.

Is a strained marriage, or a strained sex life in marriage, punishment for having premarital sex?

These situations are more likely a result or consequence of sin, rather than a punishment from God. Premarital sex often creates an artificial bond which prevents people in an unhealthy relationship from ending the relationship prior to marriage. Marriage and family life is hard work. After we get married we go from face to face interactions, to shoulder to shoulder interactions with our spouses, which can add more stress to an already struggling relationship. But that isn’t grounds for divorce. If you engaged in sex before marriage, ask for forgiveness for your sin and then ask God to bless both your marriage and your sex life.

How should you respond to your boyfriend/fiance/husband when they confess to you that they've been looking at porn?

Partners should do their best to respond to this confession with love and grace. Many men have formed addictions surrounding porn and masturbation since they were young and it may be difficult for them to overcome this struggle right away. Everyone has certain areas of sin they struggle in, and in the context of marriage we should have grace for one another surrounding our weaknesses and encourage each other to overcome our sin.

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